The most important factor to successfully completing a Portland demolition project is having a skilled crew. Labor shortages, however, plague the construction and demolition, or C&D, industry. In 2011, for instance, homebuilders experienced shortages of 13 percent. Today, this number has exploded to 82 percent. Experts expect this number to increase since as many as 60 percent of the industry’s workforce will retire in the next five years. For demolition companies in Portland, the only thing more vital than acquiring skilled workers is retaining the ones they have.
Strategies for Retaining Your Demolition Crew
1. Strive to be the best in your local industry.
Demolition workers don’t wake up and think, “I want to work for a mediocre company that cuts corners.” Employees want to take pride in their employers and seek jobs with companies that are considered the best.
The best companies aren’t happy with being good enough. The best consistently strive to be at the top of their field and deliver quality work using quality materials. They’re reliable, set employees up for success, and treat talent development and retention as valuable assets and worthy business investments.
2. Provide competitive wages and benefits.
Offering competitive wages is a good way to attract the top talent in your area, but the practice alone isn’t sustainable. When other companies in your area offer similar wages, complementing salaries with above-par benefits is a great way to retain workers.
3. Provide a safe work environment.
It only takes one injury to take an employee out of the workforce temporarily or permanently. Workers want assurances you’ll do all you can to keep them safe and productive for many years to come. To do this, you need to give them the proper tools and knowledge.
Develop safety-related rules that all employees must follow. Hold safety meetings regularly to reinforce what workers learned and keep safety at the top of their minds. Include an employee’s commitment to safety in personnel reviews and reward those who exercise safe behavior.
4. Listen to employee feedback and take action.
Workers want to feel as if their feedback and concerns matter. They also want to see action on that feedback.
Hold regular meetings that encourage employees to discuss their suggestions and concerns. Provide a way for workers to provide feedback privately or anonymously. While some ideas might not be realistic or feasible, your workers will at least know you heard them and cared.
5. Practice flexibility.
Younger workers seek employment with C&D companies that offer a work-life balance. While set schedules are great for predictability and consistency, the lives of your employees aren’t always predictable or static. They sometimes need wiggle room. Something as simple as being able to take time off to take care of a little one can make a big difference in regard to long-term employee satisfaction and retention.
Flexibility also includes growing and changing with the times. Adopting practices that improve efficiency, such as adopting new technologies, could mean changing how you’ve always done things in return for increased productivity and employee satisfaction.
6. Provide opportunities to grow and advance.
Employees want to feel as if they’re going somewhere and doing something meaningful with their careers. In addition to regularly training workers on the basics, give them the means to learn new leadership and technical skills at industry events and off-site training events. Reward loyal workers who are dedicated to improving themselves professionally with opportunities for advancement.
Professional development builds on your employees’ strengths and helps them overcome their weaknesses. It also shows you’re invested and interested in helping them be great at what they do and what they aspire to be.
7. Provide tools that set workers up for success.
Your workers are only as good as the knowledge and tools you provide. As soon as you hire new employees, onboarding and training activities will help them adjust to the performance and social aspects of their jobs so they can become productive quickly.
Just as important are the physical tools you provide. Oregon demolition workers want to use quality tools and equipment that will make their jobs safer, simpler and more efficient so they can be productive.
8. Value workplace culture and engagement.
Companies with the best cultures make the value of their workers equal to or greater than the value of their projects. Instead of treating workers like commodities, they treat them like a valuable limited resource.
Oregon demolition workers perceive value in a variety of manners. Organizational development that includes respecting an employee’s work-life balance, valuing professional development and treating all workers as valuable team members will increase engagement and satisfaction.
9. Practice transparency.
Transparency fosters a culture of trust between company leaders and employees. When you keep your employees in the loop and help them comprehend why practices are in place, they’ll understand their roles in the “big picture” better, have more confidence in upper management, and be more productive.
10. Provide a strong mission to rally around.
A clearly defined mission isn’t just part of a business plan; it gives employees something to strive for as they work. Share your company’s mission and goals with all your workers. Help them understand their roles so they know they’re a part of something bigger than their core duties so take ownership of the company’s successes.
Giving workers a good salary, a nice benefits package, a productive culture, and a safe, enjoyable work environment costs money. However, it’s more affordable than losing workers, hiring new workers, and losing business or declining projects because you don’t have enough people on your crew. Portland demolition contractors that focus on providing a satisfactory experience to clients and workers alike will gain a competitive edge in the modern C&D landscape.